Scotland international Shaun Maloney has left Wigan Athletic for an undisclosed fee to join MLS side Chicago Fire.
Signed from Celtic in August 2011, the 31-year-old has spent three and a half years with the Lancashire club where he was a part of many memorable victories including the FA Cup win in 2013.
Maloney was nearing the end of his contract and after making 79 league appearances and scoring 14 goals, manager Malky Mackay decided the move was in the player’s and the club’s best interests.
He said: “We need players who are 100% focused on being here and helping the club.
“Sometimes in football, you have to recognise that a move is for the benefit of all parties. Shaun is nearing the end of his contract and as a club we had to make a decision.
“It was a great opportunity for him personally and this made sense from everyone’s perspective.”
Maloney is the second Wigan player in quick succession to pack his bags after midfielder Ben Watson, who won Wigan the FA Cup, also made the decision to join Watford until the end of the season late last week.
The MLS season begins on March 7 and Maloney will travel across the Atlantic with recent loan signing Liam Ridgewell as he returns to the Portland Timbers.
Mackay added: “We have a responsibility to do what is best for the long term interests of the football club and he leaves with our blessing and best wishes for the future.”
Main image courtesy of FATV via YouTube, with thanks.